June 8, 2017

CNN After Claiming Comey Would ‘Refute’ Trump, Issues Weaselly ‘Correction’

CNN apparently sees part of its mission as putting out weakly sourced, anonymous and likely untrue information when it makes President Donald Trump look bad, and then weakly  ”correcting” it with no apologies when the truth becomes known. A particularly egregious example of this occurred Tuesday when the network published a story and broadcast video segments declaring that former FBI Director James Comey would “refute” Trump’s claim that Comey told him three times that he was not under investigation.

These days, it’s hard to say that any particular establishment press offense tops all the others, but this one is certainly in the upper echelon.

Tuesday’s CNN claim was unmistakable, and if true, would certainly have been problematic for Trump. Wednesday’s “correction” doesn’t even genuinely admit that the original story ended up being so wrong that any reasonable person would wonder why it was ever published and aired.

Here are the opening paragraphs of Tuesday’s original, which is fortunately still available at the websites of several CNN-subscribing local TV stations, including WTVR in Richmond, Virginia (HT Zero Hedge; bolds are mine throughout this post):

Comey expected to refute Trump during congressional testimony

In his much-anticipated congressional testimony on Thursday, fired FBI Director James Comey will dispute President Donald Trump’s interpretation of their conversations, according to sources familiar with Comey’s thinking.

Trump has made a blanket claim that Comey told him multiple times that he was not under investigation.

But one source said Comey is expected to explain to senators that those were much more nuanced conversations from which Trump concluded that he was not under investigation. Another source hinted that the President may have misunderstood the exact meaning of Comey’s words, especially regarding the FBI’s ongoing counterintelligence investigation.

In his letter to Comey firing him, Trump raised the Russia investigation and asserted that: “… I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation.” The White House has not provided details of when those three conversations allegedly took place.

The network’s original report at its own website was replaced Wednesday by its “correction.” However, until Wednesday afternoon, CNN’s original video discussion with the claim that Comey would “refute” Trump was still present. That video has since finally been replaced. A related video found here shows a CNN panel on Don Lemon’s Tuesday evening show discussing the matter, with viewers being shown a chyron description claiming “COMEY TO TESTIFY TRUMP MISINTERPRETED HIS CONVERSATIONS WITH HIM” during most of the segment:


Now let’s look at what CNN calls a “correction,” followed by the first few paragraphs of the story which replaced the original. The bolded text below highlights where CNN’s “correction” failed to genuinely acknowledge that its original story was absolutely incorrect:

Comey unlikely to judge on obstruction

CORRECTION AND UPDATE: This article was published before Comey released his prepared opening statement. The article and headline have been corrected to reflect that Comey does not directly dispute that Trump was told multiple times he was not under investigation in his prepared testimony released after this story was published.

In his much-anticipated congressional testimony on Thursday, fired FBI Director James Comey is not likely to offer his conclusion about whether the President obstructed justice regarding the agency’s Russia investigation, according to a source with knowledge of Comey’s testimony.

Rather, this source says, Comey plans to present himself as a “fact witness” by simply describing the interactions with the President on multiple occasions that made him uneasy enough to memorialize their conversations. He “will leave the legal analysis for others,” a source tells CNN.

While Comey is anxious to recount his version of his conversations with the President, he also appears likely to sidestep questions about how he felt about Trump’s comment — for instance, whether he felt pressured to drop the investigation or whether he thought they amounted to obstruction, another source said.

An earlier version of this story said that Comey would dispute Trump’s interpretation of their conversations. But based on his prepared remarks, Comey outlines three conversations with the President in which he told Trump he was not personally under investigation.

Good heavens, people.

The actual revised story says that the former FBI Director identified “three conversations with the President in which he told Trump he was not personally under investigation.” Yet the “correction” only acknowledges that “Comey does not directly dispute that Trump was told multiple times he was not under investigation.”

I hate to break it to the folks at CNN, but Comey’s identification of “three conversations” confirms what Trump originally claimed in his letter firing Comey.

Apparently, as has been seen in so many other instances during the presidential campaign, the post-election transition and the early month’s of Trump’s presidency, there’s an ironclad rule at CNN and other establishment press outlets against using the following three words in succession: “Trump was right.”

There is also apparently a rule against apologizing to those who were originally misled or even expressing any form of sincere regret. Absent such an expression, and especially given the weaselly language of CNN’s “correction,” readers can be forgiven for believing that this absence is due to the fact that no one at the network is genuinely sorry for having misled its viewers and readers.

For those who want to see a full comparison of CNN’s original story and the one which replaced it, I have produced a side-by-side comparison of both (posted for future reference, fair use, and discussion purposes).

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.



  1. CNN is even worse than MSNBC now. They had a host on there who blatantly lied and claimed Comey said today that Trump was now under criminal investigation. He never said anything close to that! I’d like to believe said host is just dumb but…THIS IS CNN.

    Comment by zf — June 8, 2017 @ 5:12 pm

  2. Other networks are claiming that too. It’s like, “don’t listen to what he did or didn’t say, listen to what he meant”:

    One example:

    CBS: Comey Gave ‘Every Indication’ Trump Is ‘In Fact,’ ‘May Be’ Under Investigation

    They lie. They don’t care. They just repeat the lie until caught, and even if caught, they sometimes keep going.

    I thought I reached peak disgust with Kathy Griffin, which actually led me to virtually step away for a couple of days late last week, but this crap actually has more real-world impact, is more pervasive, and on the whole more disgusting even if not gory.

    Comment by Tom — June 8, 2017 @ 8:35 pm

  3. Comey really stuck his foot in it this time. When he testified to the fact that former Attny Gen. Lynch (under Obama) ordered him not to call the investigation into Hillary Clinton a “criminal” investigation but a “matter”, he essentially admitted to engaging in a conspiracy with Obama regime members to deceive the American people and interfere in the 2016 election. Furthermore, this also opens the door to the idea that the Obama regime in collusion with Hillary Clinton’s election campaign crafted the entire Russia interference narrative to cover up for Seth Rich’s leak of the DNC emails that exposed the theft of the Democrat Party nomination from Bernie Sanders. IF the “matter” narrative was crafted by the Clinton campaign and then pushed by Obama regime officials like Lynch, then clearly it is likely that the “Russia did it” narrative which was also started by the Clinton campaign was also continued by design by the Obama regime.

    When Comey testified that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, he in effect exposed the collusion between Obama and Clinton and that he, Comey was intregal in that collusion. Notice that they are still pushing the line that Russia used a spear fishing operation according to Comey to get the DNC emails. We know that is false since Seth Rich is the source of the DNC emails which exposed Clinton’s theft of the Democrat Nomination from Bernie Sanders. This tells us that Comey, Brennan and Clapper colluded to deceive and cover up the fact that Seth Rich is the leaker because they all 3 are blaming Russia when in fact it isn’t and all of them were in the position to know from NSA monitoring that zero digital packets went from the DNC to anywhere. Seth is reported to have put this info on a drive and walked it out of the DNC, not emailed or uploaded it. An email or upload over the internet would have been recorded by the NSA metadata trace monitoring as others have noted. In fact, if we have the public info accurately, a third party supposedly sent the info via the internet to Wikileaks and that actually should be able to be confirmed by the NSA.

    Don’t get me wrong, Putin/Russia is a bad guy, they did probably do spear fishing attacks like Podesta (his stupidity) but to call it “interference” and not “influence” is a word game they all are playing at.

    The US interfered in the Israeli election, that’s a fact, State Department funds were given to unseat a sitting prime minister. It’s really sad that Putin was made to look not as bad as he really is by Obama’s illegal behaviors. The irony here is that contrary to the Obama/MSM/Liberal Democrat narrative, the US standing in the world as the good guy took a major hit during Obama’s watch.

    Comment by dscott — June 9, 2017 @ 8:47 am

  4. “When he testified to the fact that former Atty Gen. Lynch (under Obama) ordered him not to call the investigation into Hillary Clinton a “criminal” investigation but a “matter”, he essentially admitted to engaging in a conspiracy with Obama regime members to deceive the American people and interfere in the 2016 election.”

    “When Comey testified that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, he in effect exposed the collusion between Obama and Clinton and that he, Comey was integral in that collusion.”

    And that’s even before getting to his deliberate and OBVIOUSLY illegal memo leak.

    Comment by Tom — June 9, 2017 @ 9:05 am

  5. John McCain is getting criticism for the wrong issue. It pains me, but I do feel a duty to correct the record that John McCain while flubbing up his questioning did come to an important point that even my liberal friend was forced to admit to uncomfortably.

    Comey’s handling of Clinton’s criminal conduct demonstrated he exercised the prosecutorial discretion afforded to law enforcement by not demanding a special prosecutor or taking it to a grand jury. Comey excused this discretion by claiming it wouldn’t be fair to Clinton just before election, as though this were a standard of justice when in fact he showed zero discretion with Trump and clearly indicated he refused to do so with Gen. Flynn.

    Comey listed all the reasons why Hillary Clinton should be indicted but then went 180 degrees claiming no reasonable prosecutor would carry on. This was a display of discretion allowed by our law enforcement. BTW- every item Comey listed against Hillary before he reversed himself other people have been indicted and convicted on.

    I would also like to point out while much has been made of Comey being appointed by a Bush era Republican, he isn’t the first appointee that betrayed the Party or turned out to be a liberal Democrat in practice. We have SCOTUS members to prove that point. In fact, here we have what is clearly a member of the #NeverTrump brigade, a selRINO.

    Comment by dscott — June 9, 2017 @ 11:40 am

  6. Question: IF you have the authority to end an investigation, is it obstruction to end it or request it be ended?

    When Comey ended Hillary’s investigation, which he testified he did so on his own authority, was Comey committing obstruction for a person who was clearly guilty???? IF NOT, then as Comey himself detailed, the President directly or the Attorney General has the right to end any investigation they deem fit being the supervisor.

    It is only bad optics to end an investigation, not obstruction of justice as Comey testified when he said it “was a big deal”…

    Comment by dscott — June 9, 2017 @ 11:47 am

  7. One of many infuriating points about Comey is that he, as a law enforcement person, made a decision on Clinton that ONLY a prosecutor with a prosecutor’s discretion is supposed to make. Law enforcement investigates and brings the facts to prosecutors (Law & Order 101), who make that call. Deciding whether or not to prosecute is not in an FBI Director’s job description, and he had no right to take the heat off of Loretta Lynch and ultimately Barack Obama.

    Comment by Tom — June 9, 2017 @ 2:19 pm

  8. Judicial Watch: Retired and Actively Serving FBI Agents Tell Us ‘Comey is a Dirty Cop’ (VIDEO)


    Comment by dscott — June 10, 2017 @ 8:50 am

  9. Would like to see some of the people who were disgusted with slow-walking the Clinton-Abedin-Weiner investigations come out swinging.

    Comment by Tom — June 10, 2017 @ 1:41 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.